Google Will Be First Duke Energy Customer To Buy Solar Electricity
Google has announced it will purchase renewable electricity from a 61 MW Duke Energy solar project that is under construction in North Carolina. The buy is meant to address some of the Google data center’s clean electricity demands.
According to a press statement, Google will benefit from Duke Energy Carolinas’ Green Source Rider program, allowing companies to purchase large amounts of renewable energy without incurring extra costs.
Duke Energy’s 61-megawatt solar project is scheduled to be constructed in Rutherford County. Under a power purchase agreement with the Rutherford Farms, LLC solar project, Duke Energy will secure power to meet new energy demand from Google’s expanded Lenoir, North Carolina data center.
According to a Google blog post concerning this agreement,
“In 2013, when we announced the expansion of our Lenoir, North Carolina data center, we proposed a program with our electricity provider Duke Energy that would allow companies like Google to power their local operations with renewable energy. Today, we’re announcing that we have signed on as the first customer of the program and we will be purchasing energy from a 61 MW solar project in Rutherford County, North Carolina—enough energy to power almost 12,000 average U.S. households.”
Duke Energy logoRob Caldwell, Duke Energy senior vice president, Distributed Energy Resources, said, “Google was a driver behind Duke Energy seeking approval for the Green Source Rider. Having Google as the first company to publicly announce its participation is extremely satisfying. We believe this will lead to similar announcements in the future.”
Enrollment in the Green Source Rider means Google will use renewable energy sources for a portion of the energy supplied to its expanded data center. Under the program, Duke Energy and Google agreed on the specific project and additional costs associated with energy from the facility.
Of note, other Duke Energy customers will not pay for the project. Duke will buy the energy generated from the new North Carolina solar farm and Google will buy the clean power using energy credits it has purchased from Duke Energy.